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GECOM’s 10 declarations are “legal”; recount addresses concerns – Alexander

The 10 regional declaration of results of March’s general elections by the Guyana Elections Commission’s (GECOM) are “legal” and their  fate will not be catered for in an order for the recount that will be published in the Official Gazette, Commissioner Vincent Alexander said Thursday.

“In the face of legally made declarations, unless you have a process  that supersedes that in its finality, then you cannot repeal what exists,” he told reporters. Alexander added that “if the recount process brings us to the point of a new declaration, indeed it would be supersede that.”

Asked whether there was a chance that the declarations could still be used, ” he quipped: “the Lord knows, they are legal.” He added that he was not saying that they would be used but “I am not in the business of looking at something that is legal and crossing it out like that.”

“Its day to be to taken into consideration as to whether it would be used or not will come; it’s not today,” he said. The Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield has already submitted his report to the GECOM Chairman, Claudette Singh for her to present to the commission with a view to declaring the election results but she has said that she has committed to  a recount publicly and to the High Court.

Stressing that the 10 declarations are legal, he said if someone moves to the Court and secures a judgement to use them to declare a winner of the March 2, 2020 general elections. “We have to do what we have to do and if the processes of the court allows for something else to happen, so be it but until such time, if at all there will be such time, we have to, we have to do what we have to do,” he said.

Alexander, a former executive member of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) which is the major party in the governing coalition, defended the decision to conduct a recount instead of declaring a winner. “Major stakeholders have posed questions, because a number of regions, including Region Four requested recounts. In some of those regions, the recounts were held in abeyance. For example in Region Five, the recount was held in abeyance, in Region Six the recount was aborted, in Region Three, the recounts were rejected. It is this question of how the recounts have been dealt with that is now the basis for this overall recount which we are now going to undertake,” he said.

The Elections Commissioner said the commission would Friday finalise the workplan and the order to be gazetted to pave the way for the recount when the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) high-level team of scrutineers arrives in Guyana.

Attorney-at-Law James Bond, who is a prominent PNCR member, has already said a recount would be illegal and he would concede defeat only if President David Granger does so. He has said that any challenge to the election results should be done through an elections petition.